We are seeing them become more prevalent in new construction projects for buildings of all sizes. Since they are governed by building codes andstandards,and serve an important “life safety” function in a building, I would imagine that the necessary terms and conditions for a relevant “All in One” contract would be similar to the ones for a fire alarm system. (However, as these systems are being installed as part of new construction projects, the initial installation may be contracted for by an electrical subcontractor, with ongoing monitoring and service being handled by the building owner.)
I am certainly not an expert on these types of systems, but we are seeing them specified in new construction projects and we would like to properly contract for our involvement with them (as our industry seems to be tasked with providing them). One of the major manufacturers is a company called Rath (www.area-of-refuge.com).
Please let me know if I can provide anything further.
These aretwo waycommunication systems and they are, I believe, typically included in the fire alarm system design. Commercial fire alarm installers are the natural contractor choice for these systems. I have not designed a contract specifically for the Area of RefuseSystem, but I think that system can easily be included in the Commercial Fire All in One, as you suggest. Something I will work on. I don’t know if this type of system is going to be required or offered independent of the fire alarm system, so I don’t know if a separate contract should be used. I will wait for some feedback from companies installing these systems.
I did ask a fire expert to comment on your inquiry and his response is below: Thank you for the question and the expert for the comment.
Area of refuge? Isn’t that where the tenants leave their garbage for the super to pick up?
Below are excerpts from the latest International Building Codes hot off thepress .These codes are used in NYC and NYS and elsewhere. This communication system could either be a standalone or incorporated into the fire alarm system. That would bebased uponthe designer/licensed engineer.
AREA OF REFUGE is defined as “ An area where persons unable to use stairways can remain temporarily to await instructions or assistance during emergency evacuation.” Relevant sections of the Code are below:
1009.3.3 Area of refuge. Stairways shall either incorporate an area of refuge within an enlarged floor-level landing or shall be accessed from an area of refuge complying with Section 1009.6.266
Areas of refuge are not required at exit access stairways where two-way communication is provided at the elevator landing in accordance with Section 1009.8.
Areas of refuge are not required at stairways in buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
Areas of refuge are not required at stairways serving open parking garages.
Areas of refuge are not required for smoke-protected or open-air assembly seating areas complying with Sections 1029.6.2 and 1029.6.3.
Areas of refuge are not required at stairways in Group R-2 occupancies.
Areas of refuge are not required for stairways accessed from a refuge area in conjunction with a horizontal exit.
1009.4 Elevators. In order to be considered part of an accessible means of egress, an elevator shall comply with Sections 1009.4. 1 and 1009.4.2.1
1009.4.1 Standby power. The elevator shall meet the emergency operation and signaling device requirements of Section 2.27 of ASME A17.1/CSA B44. Standby power shall be provided in accordance with Chapter 27 and Section
1009.4.2 Area of refuge. The elevator shall be accessed from an area of refuge complying with Section 1009.6.
Areas of refuge are not required at the elevator in open parking garages.
Areas of refuge are not required in buildings and facilities equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
Areas of refuge are not required at elevators not required to be located in a shaft in accordance with Section 712.
Areas of refuge are not required at elevators serving smoke-protected or open-air assembly seating areas complying with Sections 1029.6.2 and 1029.6.3.
Areas of refuge are not required for elevators accessed from a refuge area in conjunction with a horizontal exit.
1009.5 Platform lifts. Platform lifts shall be permitted to serve as part of an accessible means of egress where allowed as part of a required accessible route in Section 1109.8 except for Item 10. Standby power for the platform lift shall be provided in accordance with Chapter 27.
1009.6 Areas of refuge. Every required area of refuge shall be accessible from the space itserves byan accessible means of egress.
1009.6.1 Travel distance. The maximum travel distance from any accessible space to an area of refuge shall not exceed the exit access travel distance permitted for the occupancy in accordance with Section 1017.1.
1009.6.2 Stairway or elevator access. Every required area of refuge shall have direct access to a stairway complying with Sections 1009.3 and 1023 or an elevator complying with Section 1009.4.
1009.6.3 Size. Each area of refuge shall be sized to accommodate one wheelchair space of 30 inches by 48 inches (762 mm by 1219 mm) foreach200 occupants or portion thereof, based on the occupant load of the area of refuge and areas served by the area of refuge. Such wheelchair spaces shall not reduce the means of egress minimum width or required capacity. Access to any of the required wheelchair spaces in an area of refuge shall not be obstructed by more than one adjoining wheelchair space.
1009.6.4 Separation. Each area of refuge shall be separated from the remainder of the story by a smoke barrier complying with Section 709 or a horizontal exit complying with Section 1026. Each area of refuge shall be designed to minimize the intrusion of smoke.
Areas of refuge located within an enclosure for interior exit stairways complying with Section 1023.
Areas of refuge in outdoor facilities where exit access is essentially open to the outside.
1009.6.5 Two-way communication. Areas of refuge shall be provided with a two-way communication system complying with Sections 1009.8.1 and 1009.8.2.
7 Exterior areas for assisted rescue. Exterior areas for assisted rescue shall be accessed by an accessible route from the area served. Where the exit discharge does not include an accessible route from an exit located on the level of exit discharge to a public way, an exterior area of assisted rescue shall be provided on the exterior landing in accordance with Sections 1009.7.1 through 1009.7.4.
1009.7.1 Size. Each exterior area for assisted rescue shall be sized to accommodate wheelchair spaces in accordance with Section 1009.6.3.
1009.7.2 Separation. Exterior walls separating the exterior area of assisted rescue from the interior of the building shall have a minimum fire-resistance rating of 1 hour, rated for exposure to fire from the inside. The fire-resistance-rated exterior wall construction shall extend horizontally not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) beyond the landing on either side of the landing or equivalentfire resistance-ratedconstruction is permitted to extend out perpendicular to the exterior wall not less than 4 feet (1220 mm) on the side of the landing. Thefire-resistance ratedconstruction shall extend vertically from the ground to a point not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) above the floor level of the area for assisted rescue or to the roof line, whichever is lower. Openings within suchfire-resistance ratedexterior walls shall be protected in accordance with Section 716.
Exception: The fire-resistance rating and opening protectives are not required in the exterior wall where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section I
903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2.
7.3 Openness. The exterior area for assisted rescue shall be open to the outside air. The sides other than the separation walls shall be not less than 50 percent open, and the open area shall be distributed so as to minimize the accumulation of smoke or toxic gases.
7.4 Stairways. Stairways that are part of the means of egress for the exterior area for assisted rescue shall provide a minimum clear width of 48 inches (1220 mm) between handrails.
The minimum clear width of 48 inches (1220 mm) between handrails is not required at stairways serving buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with
Section 903.3.1.1 o 903.3.1.2.
1009.8 Two-way communication. A two-way communication system complying with Sections 1009.8.1 and 1009.8.2 shall be provided at the landing serving each elevator or bank of elevators on each accessible floor that is one or more stories above or below the level of exit discharge.
Two-way communication systems are not required at the landing serving each elevator or bank of elevators where the two-way communication system is provided within areas of refuge in accordance with
Two-way communication systems are not required on floors provided with ramps conforming to the provisions of Section 1012.
Two-way communication systems are not required at the landings serving only service elevators that are not designated as part of the accessible means of egress or serve as part
of the required accessible route into a facility.
Two-way communication systems are not required at the landings serving only freight elevators.
Two-way communication systems are not required at the landing serving a private residence elevator.
Two-way communication systems are not required in Group 1-2 or 1-3 facilities.
1009.8.1 System requirements. Two-way communication systems shall provide communication between each required location and the fire command center or a central control point location approved by the fire department.
Where the central control point is not a constantly attended location, a two-way communication system shall have a timed automatic telephone dial-out capability to a monitoring location or 9-1-1. The two-way communication
system shall include both audible and visible signals.
1009.8.2 Directions. Directions for the use of the two-way communication system, instructions for summoning assistance via the two-way communication system and written identification of the location shall be posted adjacent to the two-way communication system. Signage shall comply with the ICC Al 17.1 requirements for visual characters.